I have made a few changes …


I have made a few changes recently.

I have stopped drinking coffee. I am tired of frequent “nature breaks” interrupting my morning rides. I switched to a polarized training schedule. I needed a change as I transition outside on the road bikes. I switched to body-weight strengthening exercises. I won’t have a fully  equipped gym available while at the cottage for the next 2 months. I grew a beard! I wanted a different look. Something more mature, and sophisticated 😂 And, I was so tired of shaving most days.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I purchased an electronic book to read.

I was largely impressed with the ebook reading experience using the iBooks app. The books are displayed in full color, and the page turns are lifelike and smooth with the swipe of a finger. Books can be read in landscape mode. A link at the top takes you to the table of contents, and you can adjust the brightness or text size as well. – LifeWire

I’m late to this party.

Others have been reading electronic books for years. I resisted because I like the feel, and look of hard cover books. I like the look of them on my bookshelves. It’s a tactile thing.

Well, all that changed this week. I have a new friend at the club. I can call her that. I think. We don’t know each other well, but always speak to one another at the gym. After several months of sharing pleasantries, I learned she is an English Professor at one of the local universities.

She looks too young to be a professor but that is another story.

When I learned the focus of her PhD dissertation was autobiographies, and in particular, the impact social media has on personal narratives, I was intrigued. You see, for the past decade, I have studied the various social media platforms from a different perspective. A business one. I thought to myself what better way to come up with an informed, impartial summer reading list than to ask an English Professor with similar sensibilities.

Several weeks ago, I explained to her that I was spending 2 months alone at the cottage without TV or the internet, and asked if she could recommend a few books to read. I read a lot when I’m there but have difficulty selecting good books. I select books like I pick wine. By their cover. Not such a good idea.

To my surprise, my new friend approached me while I was on the spinning bike yesterday holding a type written list of 7 books. Several she “loved” reading. One that she teaches in her classes. And, 2 she thought I would like. One about an adventurous cyclist, and the other a murder mystery set in Ontario cottage country. How appropriate. When I got home, I Googled reviews of the books, decided I want to read them all, and immediately headed to the local bookstore.

One of the books was in stock. All of the others have to be special ordered. I don’t have time for that. I leave in a week. And, they were expensive. Several $35-40. I didn’t want to spend that much. So, I looked on-line for electronic versions. They were all available. Immediately. And, for a fraction of the cost.

I purchased and downloaded one of the books, and spent last evening reading it with the iBooks app available on my MacPro. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the experience. I could change the contrast, background colour and text size, making the pages easy to read. Easier, in fact, than a hardcover book.

Since I always travel with my MacPro and iPhone, it makes sense. I have all I need – photos, internet, blog, books – in one place. I now do all of the things on-line that I said I would never do. Banking. Shopping. Photography (Who would want a camera in their phone, I once thought). And now, reading.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks 😂

Who knows. I may even try a recreational ride soon 🤔

Caffeine free … đŸ¤”


It has been 2 weeks.

For 2 weeks I have been weaning myself off coffee. First, I cut back to 2 cups a day. One in the morning, and then another with lunch. Then I cut out the mid-day cup. And now, I have cut it out all together.

Instead, I drink more water, herbal teas, and just today purchased a 1/2 pound of decaf coffee from one of the local coffee roasters.

Like many men, I sometimes suffer from a bought of prostatitis, and have even written about it previously several times. It is annoying having to interrupt a ride for a “nature break”, and get up repeatedly throughout the night. During the past 2 weeks I have tracked the number of cups of coffee I have a day, and the number of times I get out of bed to visit the washroom.  My Garmin Activity Tracker actually records the quality of my sleep, and the number of times I’m up. I am happy, and somewhat surprised, to report that several times this week I did not get up once. That’s right. I did not get up even once. I can’t remember the last time that has happened.

It would appear coffee is the culprit. Over the years, I have gradually increased my intake with ever stronger blends. There was a time I never drank coffee but that changed when I moved to the west coast, and was introduced to a place called Starbucks. They had just opened their first Canadian location a block from my new office, and I began making daily treks for a cafe latte, a “tall” dark black coffee, or a “shot-in-the-dark” (black dark roast plus a single shot of espresso). At first, it was once a day but gradually increased to 3 or 4 times a day. Not only was I drinking way too much coffee, I was spending a lot of money unnecessarily.

I have also stopped drinking fluids of any kind later 5-6 PM. As I’m writing this it is 4 PM and I have just made a decaf coffee. This will be my last drink for the day. And, one other thing. I stopped using electrolyte tablets for my gym workouts, and short rides under 90 minutes. I don’t need the extra salt for these shorter workouts.

Well, I’ll see if this lasts. I have not been on a long ride yet but have noticed that I go less frequently throughout the day as well. Maybe 8-9 times. Come to think of it, I just returned from a 2 hour ride, and did not have to stop. Not once. That’s good 😀 I can remember times when I have had to stop as many as 3-4 times on the same route.

Most people urinate between six and eight times a day. But if you’re drinking plenty, it’s not abnormal to go as many as 10 times a day. You may also pee more often if you’re taking certain medications, like diuretics for high blood pressure.

And here I thought coffee was a health drink full of antioxidants and essential nutrients.

Black coffee is low in fat and calories and supplies a wealth of antioxidants that help protect your health. Certain risks have been linked to drinking large amounts of black coffee, but rest assured that you can safely drink a cup of coffee every morning. People who drink a lot of coffee are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink smaller amounts, or no coffee at all, according to some studies. According to Harvard Medical School, this is because it contains ingredients that lower blood sugar.

Oh well. I’ll just have to learn to do without 😟